KARLSHAMN, SWEDEN — AAK will look for a new chief financial officer while still battling the effects of lockdowns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fredrik Nilsson, the current CFO, will join another Swedish company at the beginning of 2021, Karlshamn-based AAK reported July 17 while giving second-quarter results.
AAK posted operating profit of SEK417 million ($46 million) in the quarter, which was down 19% from SEK518 million in the previous year’s second quarter. Negative currency translation had an impact of SEK10 million in this year’s second quarter. Net sales of SEK6.12 billion ($677 million) were down 13% from SEK7 billion. Volume dropped 15% to 481,000 tonnes.
Mr. Nilsson joined AAK in 2007 and became CFO in 2014. He was both CFO and acting chief executive officer starting in May 2017. After Arne Frank, who previously held those two positions, passed away on July 24, 2017, Johan Westman became president and CEO in May 2018.
“My career started here in AAK back in 2007, and it has been an amazing and exciting journey all the way, and I’m extremely proud of being a small part of the AAK history,” Mr. Nilsson said in a July 17 earnings call.
April and the beginning of May were the low points of this year’s second quarter, Mr. Westman said in the earnings call.
“But after that, we have seen clear improvements, so May being better than April and June being better than May, an improvement in sales or volumes as well as earnings toward the end of the quarter,” he said.
Operating profit in Food Ingredients fell 24% to SEK262 million ($29 million). Net sales fell 13% to SEK4.09 billion ($452 million), primarily because of lower sales in the Foodservice and Bakery segments. Volumes plunged 19% to 310,000 tonnes.
In Chocolate and Confectionery Fats, operating profit fell 12% to SEK156 million. Net sales were down 13% to SEK1.62 billion, and volume fell 18% to 92,000 tonnes. Restrictions and lockdown measures in many countries impacted results severely and particularly affected Easter sales negatively within Chocolate and Confectionery Fats.
Mr. Westman talked about how the global pandemic may affect chocolate and confectionery fat holiday sales heading into the winter.
“I don’t believe we will be completely back to normal anywhere in the world,” he said. “So does that then have an impact on Christmas? That, I don’t know. Could be, but it could be that we have now found ways to shop what we needed and to create a great Christmas and maybe more online shopping for gifts and so forth.”
In Technical Profits and Feed, operating profit fell 20% to SEK28 million while net sales increased 14% to SEK408 million and volume rose 10% to 79,000 tonnes.
Over the first six months of the fiscal year, AAK posted operating profit of SEK959 million ($106 million), down 6% from SEK1.02 billion, net sales of SEK13.57 billion ($1.50 billion), down from SEK13.98 billion, and volume of 1.05 million tonnes, down 8% from 1.14 million tonnes.